AUGUSTA — Seth Wescott, the two-time Olympic snowboardcross gold medalist, recently faced arrest in connection with criminal charges of failure to pay thousands of dollars in state income taxes over a five-year period.

There was a warrant out for the arrest of Wescott, 35, of Carrabassett Valley, for about one day when he failed to appear at a hearing Feb. 15 on 10 misdemeanor criminal charges in Augusta District Court, according to court records.

But the charges were dropped after Wescott came to court a day later with an attorney.

“I recognized that my taxes were not up to date,” Wescott said in a brief statement released Friday by his attorney. “I take full responsibility for that.”

The state charged Wescott with five counts of failure to pay Maine state income tax and five counts of failure to make and file Maine income tax returns. The charges spanned tax years 2006 through 2010.

A notation on a court document indicated that Wescott owed about $42,000 in back taxes. Wescott’s attorney, Stephen Langsdorf, on Friday disputed that amount and said it was lower, but he wouldn’t provide a figure or say whether all the money was paid back.

“We have an agreement with the Maine Revenue Service, and things have been fully resolved with the state,” Langsdorf said. “This all really resulted from miscommunication.”

Wescott, who trains at Sugarloaf ski resort in Carrabassett Valley, won the Olympic gold medal in the snowboardcross in Vancouver in 2010, as well as four years earlier, in the sport’s Olympic debut in Turin, Italy.

Wescott tore his pectoral muscle during the Snowboardcross World Cup Jan. 19 in Veysonnaz, Switzerland, was hospitalized for the season-ending injury and underwent surgery in Vail, Colo. The criminal complaint was filed with the court on Jan. 5.

Wescott appeared in Kennebec County court Feb. 16, the day after the warrant was issued, and posted $2,500 cash bail set by Judge Beth Dobson, according to records.

“When I returned to Maine, I immediately took all necessary steps to take care of the situation,” Wescott said in his statement on Friday. “I’m pleased this is now behind me.”

Gregg Bernstein, the assistant attorney general prosecuting the case, filed a dismissal of the charges with the court on Feb. 17, writing that the case was “being handled civilly.”

The court then returned Wescott’s bail money.

“Subsequent to the filing of the criminal charges, we obtained information that showed this was a civil case, not a criminal one,” Bernstein said Friday. “It will be handled through the civil enforcement division of Maine Revenue Service, as are all civil matters.”

Bernstein declined further comment, saying Maine law prevents the state from releasing detailed information about specific tax cases beyond what appears in court filings or occurs in court.

Information on Maine Revenue Services’ website says there are penalties assessed for late tax filing and late payments, but court records do not indicate whether Wescott was assessed a penalty.

“Every taxpayer has confidentiality protection no matter what the case is,” he said.

It’s relatively unusual for tax cases to appear in criminal court, and those cases are typically handled at the district court level unless a defendant requests a jury trial in superior court.

“As a general matter, all cases are pursued civilly and only if civil efforts are unsuccessful are they considered for possible criminal prosecution,” Bernstein said. “As a general rule, we typically file in the county which it occurs, but we also file in Augusta. This case is no different than any other case.”

Langsdorf said Wescott had no federal tax problems.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

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